So, My Intended Major Didn’t Work Out. Now What?

Declaring a college major is one of the first major decisions you will make as an adult. It can be daunting, deciding what you want to do with your life as merely a teenager.

While the average college student changes their major 3 times in their college career, most of these changes occur freshman year. But what happens when you’re over halfway through with college and realize your major just isn’t right for you?

Meet Morgan Maloof, a senior from Marietta, Georgia. Morgan came to Auburn as a bright-eyed freshman with a passion for helping others.

“For as long as I can remember, I have had a science-oriented brain. Biology and chemistry classes were a breeze for me in high school. Declaring a pre-nursing major just seemed natural for me.”

Maloof says her pre-requisite courses freshman and sophomore year of college were challenging, yet doable. “My labs and lectures for my science classes were a step up difficulty-wise from high school,” says Maloof, “yet they were manageable. I still saw myself becoming a nurse one day.”

Things shifted her junior year, when she received acceptance into the very competitive nursing program at Auburn. After getting in, she questioned her decision.

“Getting accepted was supposed to be the ‘hard part.’ Why is my passion fading now?” she says.

When asked what about nursing school changed her mind, Maloof says, “I realized that I couldn’t handle the blood, the shots or really any of the hands-on stuff. I felt so alone, knowing that I had worked so hard to chase this childhood dream that wasn’t even mine anymore.”

After a lot of thought, prayer and deliberation, Maloof took a leap of faith. “I decided not to waste any more time or money with something that I knew deep down, wasn’t going to work out for me. I made the extremely tough decision of dropping out of nursing school” she says.

Maloof took a semester off of school while working to earn money and thinking about a new path. “I did a lot of research during that time. During my research, I discovered the healthcare administration major. It was appealing to me because I would still get to help people, but more from the background than the forefront,” says Maloof.

Though her parents felt disappointed that she would not become a nurse, they ultimately supported her decision to follow her new passion. Maloof says of her family, “I am blessed to have parents who value my happiness and wellbeing over anything else.”

Maloof will graduate in December 2018, just one semester later than her friends. When asked her plans after graduation, Maloof says, “Ideally I would be doing medical sales for a doctor’s office or large corporation.”

In retrospect, Maloof is glad to have followed intuition and listened to her heart. She says, “I feel so liberated knowing that I was able to make the right decision for myself. I finally found where I belong.”




From Coed to Qualified: Translating College Skills to Professional Life

Graduating college and transitioning into a job can sound daunting. For some, this will be their first time living alone and being financially independent.

Meet Catherine Abernathy, an Auburn alumna living in Washington, D.C. Graduating from Auburn in 2016 with a degree in public relations, Abernathy was nervous about transitioning from college life into professional life.

Fast forward a year and a half: Abernathy now works as a marketing associate at a technology company. Sitting down to interview her, she draws three parallels from aspects of college and professional life, including networking, meeting deadlines and attending meetings.

Professional Networking vs. Sorority Recruitment

According to recent statistics, there are over 9 million students currently involved in greek life. “Networking in the professional world is so similar to [sorority] recruitment,” says Abernathy. “You want to impress them, and they want to impress you.”

Abernathy speaks of how she has applied skills from sorority life to her professional life. “I went to this conference this year called GEOINT. With almost 4,000 people in attendance, networking here seemed intimidating,” she says, “but then, I remembered my times during [sorority] recruitment. During recruitment, you have upwards of 2,000 girls coming to recruitment parties. You have to be able to talk to many different people with varying personality traits. [Sorority] recruitment teaches you how to literally talk to a wall,” she jokingly says.

Meeting Professional Deadlines vs. Finals Week

When asked if professional life had any stress-inducing situations to college, Abernathy laughs. “Though I have learned to manage my time better since undergrad, I have had a few situations similar to finals week,” Abernathy says. Speaking of a recent deadline, Abernathy says, “I had a proposal due last week. It was a 100-page document in which I collaborated with a small team,” she says. “Though we paced ourself, I definitely found myself pulling a few all-nighters,” she says with a laugh.

Though finals week in college can be stressful for most students, Abernathy says it prepared her for tight deadlines in a professional environment. “Would I want to do finals week of college over again? No. But do I think the deadlines, focus and adrenaline rushes helped prepare me for professional deadlines? Absolutely,” she says. “Being able to work efficiently in a time crunch and on practically zero sleep is definitely a skill I honed in on during college,” she says.

Workplace Meetings vs. College Meetings

Meetings can be extremely boring and a waste of time if not executed properly. When asked about the similarities between professional and campus meetings, Abernathy makes several comparisons.

“Meetings are an inevitable obligation,” Abernathy says, “but I have found many of my professional meetings to be similar to my college meetings.” She continues, “You go to the meetings, learn what you need to improve on and make it happen.”

Finally, when asked if she had any advice to graduating students about to enter the professional world, Abernathy says this: “Don’t stress too much. Adjusting from college life to professional life is just like anything else- there is definitely a learning curve. Try to stick to a budget, find a support system of good friends and work hard. The rest will come naturally.”




Why Broadcast Journalism: A Student’s Perspective

Walking into the interview, Lauren Youmans is posh and polished. In her leggings, casual tee and sleek ponytail, she seems to have the casual-athletic trend figured out. As we sit to start the interview, one thing is clear: she’s a natural people person.

Youmans, hailing from the Sunshine State, says Auburn was the logical choice for her college education. “I’ve grown up in an Auburn family my whole life. I think my first words were War Eagle,” Youmans jokes.

After the rock-solid decision made to come to Auburn, choosing her major was the next logical step. “I knew I wanted to help people,” expressed Youmans. “I’m not good with blood and guts, so being a doctor was out of the question,” giggles Youmans.

Why Broadcast Journalism

Though Youmans knew she wanted to help people, the next step was figuring out how. “I have always loved being in front of the camera” says Youmans. “That’s why I chose broadcast journalism. I can remember making my younger sisters do fashion shows with me when we were little,” she fondly remembers. “It’s just comfortable for me. I truly love it.”

Youmans knew that broadcast journalism was a very competitive field. “I knew in order to succeed in my field, an internship was crucial. Thankfully, Tampa Bay’s Fox 13 co-anchor Kelly Ring is a family friend. She offered me an internship last summer at Fox 13, and it was eye-opening.”

When asked why broadcast journalism is important to her, Youmans said, “There is so much unreliable media out there today. I want to broadcast news that’s relevant and accurate.”

As far as being in front of or behind the camera, Youmans hasn’t decided yet. “I love being in front of the camera. I really do. But I also love working the equipment, writing stories and editing video content.”

As for now, Youmans’ main focus is graduating and finding a job. “Who knows where life will take me post-grad,” Youmans says. “For now, I am enjoying my final classes and soaking in my last college experiences. But I can’t wait to see where broadcast journalism takes me.”





How One Auburn Student-Athlete Lives the Auburn Creed

Athletics are often upheld as the pinnacle of Southeastern Conference (SEC) universities. When many people think of Auburn University or the University of Alabama, they think one thing: sports.

Behind these reputable SEC sports teams are the dedicated student-athletes who work tirelessly to put in hours of practice, as well as exceed in academics.

Meet Tali Milde, a junior from Douglasville, GA, majoring in apparel merchandising. Milde played third baseman for the Auburn University Women’s Softball Team her freshman year. Milde says everything she did as a student-athlete revolved around living the Auburn Creed, a set of values which perfectly captures the spirit of Auburn.

“I believe in work, hard work.”

“Getting up at 5 a.m. for practice every morning was not easy,” Milde recalled of her experience. She said, “We knew we would only become better through practicing, and sometimes, that means sacrificing sleep. Working hard for our team was rewarding, because we knew the hard work was going somewhere.”

“Winning the SEC Championship was a dream,” said Milde. “We were all on cloud 9. Nothing in my college career will ever top that.”

“I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.”

Also, Milde spoke of how college sports differ from high school sports. “Playing in college is so different. The stakes are higher, and classes are harder.” She said the sports/academic balance was one of the hardest things she had to learn.

“Adjusting to college academics are tough for everyone,” said Milde, “but studying for exams and attending lectures while having 5 hour practices every day really takes a toll. It teaches you how important it is not to slack in your classes.”

“I believe in Auburn and love it.”

Another thing Milde said is that even though softball was tough, it showed her how much love she had for Auburn University.

“One thing I know is that I could not love a school more. Playing for Auburn showed me that every hard moment, every bead of sweat and every grueling practice made me proud to represent my university,” said Milde.

Finally, Milde believes in Auburn and loves it.





How to Land Your Dream Internship

In the current job market, landing your dream job has become increasingly more difficult. With the cost of living rising at a steady increase, most employers won’t hire entry-level employees without at least two years of experience.

Coming straight out of college and entering the “real world” can be tough. How can a college graduate have two years of experience straight out of undergraduate? This is where internships come in.

An internship is a trainee in an organization who works to gain experience in a particular field. Internships are a great way to give yourself a competitive edge, network, and immerse yourself in your field of study. But sometimes, landing internships can be as competitive as landing an entry-level job. So how does a college student stand out among his or her peers to get that dream internship?

Meet Megan McKinstry, a senior from Dunwoody, Georgia, majoring in public relations. At just 21 years old, Megan has had an impressive four internships. When asked how she landed these internships, Megan stressed the importance of gaining pre-internship experience, networking, and having strong relationships with professors.

Pre-Internship Experience

McKinstry noticed that many internships sought writing experience. “I decided to become a writer for Spoon University, a college food blog, because I knew becoming a published writer would look good on resumes,” McKinstry said. Once she had that desired experience, she said internships were easier to acquire.

“My job interviewers were impressed with my published writing. It’s an easy way to get ahead that many people don’t think about” McKinstry says. Another way to get pre-internship experience include having a job, even unrelated to your desired internship field.

“I worked consistently throughout high school, at a restaurant. Even though it’s not related to public relations, I feel it shows I possess a strong work ethic” says McKinstry.


Another valuable tool is networking. “The most recent internship I had was a connection from a fellow public relations field. She mentioned my name to her supervisor, and her supervisor hired me” McKinstry says.

Networking is one of the most important tools in the professional world. Some estimate that upwards of 85 percent of jobs are filled from networking. Networking can be accomplished by attending career fairs, which are held frequently on many college campuses.

Having Strong Relationships with Professors

Finally, McKinstry attributes success to knowing her professors really well. “Don’t be afraid to go to office hours!” She says. “My freshman year, I learned the importance of getting to know your professors. I had a professor write me a killer letter of recommendation for an internship, and ended up getting it. My supervisor gushed about how great my reference was.”

Professors may seem scary, but they are there to help you succeed! If you fail a test, go to their office hours to see what you did wrong. Most professors will be more than happy to help you if you are struggling. Building that bond will make them more inclined to write you a letter of recommendation.

While there is no golden set of rules to land your dream internship, these three steps will definitely step up your resume and give you a competitive edge. Now go out there and get that internship!


7 Ways to Avoid the Freshman Fifteen

College is a time of growth, exploration, and most importantly, fun! Going to college means getting used to a whole new schedule, which includes a lot more freedom than most high-school students are used to. While college is great, many freshmen fall victim to the notorious ‘Freshman Fifteen,’ or the rumored fifteen pounds that first-year college students sometimes gain. This can happen for a number of reasons: no longer playing high-school sports, saying goodbye to Mom’s cooking, or even just stress. The Freshman Fifteen is a real thing, but it does not have to be your future. Here are 7 steps to avoiding the Freshman Fifteen:

1.Find an accountability partner.

Getting into a workout schedule can be tough, especially when learning to juggle classes and your newfound freedom. Finding someone to exercise with is a must. Auburn student Megan McKinstry says, “I love working out with my roommate because we hold each other accountable.” Plus, working out with friends is fun! I mean, who doesn’t want to get sweaty while jamming to Taylor Swift’s new album with your closest buds? Grab your new roomies and get moving!

2.Avoid those tempting late-night eats.

After being in the library from dinner time ‘til the crack of dawn, the first thing you’re going to want to do is swing through McDonald’s for some crispy nuggets and salty fries. Well, don’t. Eating right before bedtime is detrimental because you lay straight down before giving your body a chance to process those calories. Greasy or heavy foods are particularly bad because all the sodium and fat is just sitting in your stomach, likely to be stored as fat. If you must quench your hunger past midnight, go for something light and easy to digest, like an apple or plain, whole-wheat toast.

3. The Recreation Center is your friend.

Never again in your life will you have state-of-the art workout facilities available at your fingertips and free of cost. Take advantage of them while you can! Colleges and universities spend tens of millions of dollars on their workout facilities so that students like you can use them. Grab your accountability partner and head to the recreation center (often nick-named “the rec” by students), and flirt it up with the cute boy bench-pressing next to you.

4. Always choose the stairs.

Though seemingly cliché, this one can really make a difference. Climbing the stairs can relieve stress, improve circulation and the stairs can be faster than waiting for the elevator. So if you fail that Biology 1010 midterm, work off the stress by walking a few flights of stairs instead of binge-eating ice cream.

5. Going out may be fun, but it isn’t fun for your waistline.

It is always fun to hit up the frats with your girls, but moderation is key here. Alcohol is chock-full of calories and sugar that can cause you to pack on the pounds. When drinking, it’s key to alternate every alcoholic beverage with a water to stay hydrated and helps you drink less. Drinking alcohol is a fun part of college, but make sure to be careful when you drink so that you don’t over-indulge.

6. Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE!

One of the best things you can invest in in college is a good, reusable water bottle. Get into competitions with your roommates to see who can chug the most H2O in one day! Drinking a full glass of water with every meal while taking sips often is a great way to listen to your body and ensure that you don’t overeat. Also, the more water you drink, the less sodium you’re likely to retain, which can cause those favorite skinny jeans not to zip.

7. Make fast food a treat, not a habit.

My roommate and I used to swing through Chick-Fil-A and McDonald’s at least 3 or 4 times a week freshman year because hey, it’s college and Mom isn’t cooking our meals anymore. Unfortunately, we noticed that eating all of this greasy food was causing us to feel bad and making us gain weight. We made a deal to only eat fast-food once a week, on Fridays, to celebrate the weekend. Not only did we feel better from eating less junk, but eating junk food only on occasion instead of regularly makes it taste that much better, knowing you earned it.

So there you have it, incoming freshmen. The freshman fifteen is a real thing, but it does not have to be your fate. Eating healthy, working out with friends and trying to maintain healthy habits is a great start to staying fit and happy your freshman year, but make sure to still enjoy yourself! College is a wonderful time of freedom and exploration, so make sure to treat yourself to the occasional burger, because sometimes you just need it.